Monday, February 7, 2011

I never fight to see if coming clean would get to me

I'm thinking about sharing a story with you today.  Something from my childhood.  Might be boring, sorry if it is.

So, it was one of my dad's weekends to have us over.  We were driving some piece of shit car, if I remember it correctly it was an old cop car, a Crown Victoria (when we got it it still had the wire between the front and back seats and the back doors didn't have door handles on the insides), and it overheated and barely made it to my Aunt's house in Cleveland.  She lived in a pretty bad neighborhood at that time, I remember a vacant lot behind her house filled with trash, broken bottles and needles.  It was awesome.  Don't get me wrong, this is probably my favorite aunt we are talking about, she was just not in a great place at that time.  Where she lives now is a pretty nice neighborhood. 

Oh, and I should preface this and say that my brother was probably four years old so that would make me about ten years old. 

Anyway, we get to my aunt's house and hang out for a bit.  Then it's time for my dad to get us home to my mom's house before the visitation curfew.  He had tried half-assedly to fix our car but it wouldn't start at all.  So, my aunt's husband at the time let us borrow his old Lincoln Towncar.  Oh, did I mention we had our half breed german shepard Bear with  us at the time, too? Big old dog.  So, yes, we borrow my Uncle's Lincoln Towncar with soft velvety seats and power windows.  This was a time when power windows were a luxury.  At first I was so excited.

I think I failied to mention so far here, too, that my dad had been drinking non-stop for pretty much years before this.  At this point in my life my dad was very depressed an undiagnosed (like currently) and had pretty much replaced all food and water with Gennesse beer.  So...yeah, just keep that in mind for the car ride home. 

My dad gets on the highway and he decides that it's a great time for me to learn how to drive a car.  I'm going to need to know how to do it one day, he reasons with me, why not start today? 

Now, I've always been a goodie-goodie and I've always been afraid to break the rules.  (this is after my early childhood foray into breaking into cars and stealing stuff out of them with the neighborhood gang and after getting kidnapped once and almost getting kidnapped a second more scary time).  So, I adamently argue with my father and he is swerving all over the road.  I decide that the floor of the back seat is the best place to hide from my dad and his horrible driving, sure we are all going to die in a horribly fire explosion style 85 mile per hour luxury version death machine.  He yells at me for a good five minutes and then remembers my brother is in the car. 

"Michael, you're a man, right?  A bigger man than your sister?" my father taunted me with, "come here, daddy will teach you how to drive.  Since you aren't tall enough I'll work the breaks and gas for you."  My brother was too young to know the consequences.  He thought it was great fun, and I'm sure it was for him.  I was so scared and upset, curled into a ball on the floor mats in the back behind the passenger seat, that I thought I would throw up.  It also didn't help that a four year old drives a car like a freaking pinball machine with a broken tilt sensor.  I seriously thought I was going to die.  I don't know how we didn't get pulled over. 

Finally we get to Streetsboro and we go to McDonald's for dinner.  Unfortunatly for us, the Cheech and Chong radio bit about going through the drive thru was just on 97.5, my dad's favorite radio station, and he thought it would be hilarious to pull the radio prank on the McDonald's Drivethru.  You know the one.  (I tried to find it on youtube but I suck and don't know what it's called specifically, I could only find inaccurate spoofs that weren't even funny.)

Anyway, my dad pretends that he can't understand what the guy in the speaker is saying (you can understand him fine but the point was he was doing the cheech and chong skit where the box is just fuzzy and they keep having to repeat the order, 'cheeseburger, onion rings, large orange drink' over and over again.  Well, the kid at the drive thru eventually has enough and tells my dad to pull forward after arguing with him that McDonald's does not serve onion rings and that they don't have orange pop, will a Coke suffice or does he want sprite?  We pull up to the window and the kid has given us 8 orders of everything, 8 cheeseburgers, 8 large fries and 8 large pops in various flavors.  And my dad, the jackass he was, still pretends he can't understand what the kid is saying, hands him a $20 and drives off.

He throws a cheeseburger on the seat next to me, for good measure.

Yeah.  This is one of the reasons I didn't even have a sip of alcohol until my wedding.   


  1. Classic Dave Jones. I should hope Mike is a bigger man then his sister, but wouldn't he be a bigger woman?

  2. Hopefully we can take how our fathers did us wrong, learn from it, and try our damndest to not repeat history. I always am thankful that I found someone like Jason and not someone like my father, because history tends to repeat itself.